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Yankees’ Anthony Rizzo out of lineup again due to shaky back

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ANAHEIM, California – Despite hitting home runs the past two nights, Anthony Rizzo was out of the lineup on Wednesday, still dealing with the lower back pain that had plagued him since early August, when he missed five consecutive games.

“I’m still dealing with the back issues,” said Aaron Boone before the Yankees’ 3-2 loss to the Angels. “He’s had some good results in the last few days, but it’s definitely something that weighs him down a bit… It’s definitely in there and still bothering him.”

Boone said the first baseman has “some pain in there” and is unable to do the “level of exercises he usually does to prepare himself to play every day.”

But Boone added that he’s not really worried.

“I think we have a good plan to put it right, but we have to get there,” said the manager.

Anthony Rizzo

Rizzo could get consecutive days off at some point, but he’s not in danger of an IL stint at this point.

He has hit the 30 home run for the sixth time in his career – and is just two short of his career high of 32, which Rizzo has done three times.

Despite good power figures, Rizzo came in on Wednesday with just 0.225, his lowest in a healthy season since 2013 – outside of the COVID-shortened 2020 season.

Before homering in back-to-back games, Rizzo had homeed only once in his previous 17 games and 12-for-64 (.188) with only five walks and 23 strikeouts.

The Yankees should soon have a better idea of ​​what their rotation will look like.

Jameson Taillon is expected to play in Tampa on the team’s day off Thursday to see if he can make his next start after suffering a bruise to his right forearm when he lined out his arm on Tuesday.

Luis Severino is slated to rehab Friday with Low-A Tampa for the first time since going to the IL with a strung bar.

And Nestor Cortes, on the IL with a strained groin, threw a 35-pitch bullpen session and did some agility practice before Wednesday’s game at Angel Stadium and said he had no problems with the injury.

“I didn’t feel anything,” Cortes said. “I’m at full power.”

Righthander Tyler Duffey was added to this week’s list of minor league pitching signings that the Yankees made this week after the 31-year old righthander withdrew from a minor league deal with the Rangers.

Duffey pitched eight seasons with the Twins before being released in early August.

He was highly effective in 2018-20 Minnesota and was also solid with the Twins a year ago, but had a 1,364 WHIP in 40 appearances this season.

Since Duffey agreed to a deal before September, he would be eligible to pitch for the Yankees in the postseason, as would Jacob Barnes, who signed the Yankees to a minor league deal on Tuesday.

The Yankees have bought a minority stake (10 percent) in Italian football champions AC Milan, which announced the closure of the latest ownership change on Wednesday.

RedBird Capital Partners finalized the deal to buy a majority stake in the seven-time European champion for 1.2 billion euros ($1.2 billion).

It is the second football team that the Yankees partially own after NYCFC.

— With AP

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